Friday the 13th

From black cats, spilling salt, breaking mirrors and walking under ladders, the superstitions of Friday the 13th are a bit of a cultural phenomenon. But why do so many people consider Friday the 13th so unlucky?

Some believe the crucifixion was held on Friday the 13th, with others tracing its origin back to Friday October 13 1307 when then King of France Phillip IV had hundreds of Templars in France simultaneously arrested and later tortured into admitting heresy in the Order.

It is also possible that the publication in 1907 of Thomas W. Lawson’s popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth played a part in disseminating the superstition. In the novel, an unscrupulous stockbroker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th.

For hundreds of years different cultures and religions have found events to show how unlucky the number 13 is and paired with the unluckiest day of the week Friday, it has become a day so scary science named it paraskevidekatriaphobia.

For some, Friday the 13th is a day of horror. Quoting Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, “It’s been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do.”

So be on the look out for black cats crossing your path. Be careful carrying that mirror. Do not knock the salt over. And don’t walk under that ladder (in reality you should never do this, it is just unsafe for you and for anyone working on the ladder). Or go about your day as you normally would and don’t buy into the superstitions, either way for most of us, Friday means the work week is done and we can relax a bit over the weekend and I can’t find anything unlucky about that.

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